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  #381  
Old 06-09-2017, 10:34 AM
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It's a question though of how formal this agreement is between the Conservatives and the DUP. They just seem to be having serious talks at the moment. What a mess! Theresa May had a perfectly good majority in the Commons before the election. I expect the Queen will be keeping a very close eye on what develops in the days to come.
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  #382  
Old 06-09-2017, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyalProtocol View Post
Theresa May is to visit Buckingham Palace at 12.30 to request permission from Her Majesty to form a Government.
Can Her Majesty refuse to give permission? Just wondering. (Sorry for my ignorance).
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  #383  
Old 06-09-2017, 11:29 AM
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I think that statement about asking permission is rather awkwardly phrased. If, when Theresa May meets the Queen and is able to form a (minority) working government, she'll inform HM of that fact and disclose why she has that ability. If the Queen is confident that Theresa May can form government (albeit with another party's support) then she will confirm May as PM. If Theresa May can't form government and informs the Queen of that fact then the Queen would probably ask her to try again. If she can't and Jeremy Corbyn can by some miracle (though personally I think it's an impossibility) then HM will confirm him as PM. That's just the way the system works.
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  #384  
Old 06-09-2017, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post
Can Her Majesty refuse to give permission? Just wondering. (Sorry for my ignorance).


In theory the Sovereign appoints the Prime Minster. Of course we know the reality that it is the electorate who chooses. The Queen maintains the right however to ask the leader of the largest party to form the next government.
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  #385  
Old 06-09-2017, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post
Can Her Majesty refuse to give permission? Just wondering. (Sorry for my ignorance).
In theory, yes. But she would have declared a political position if she simply said "No, I don't like your coalition".

So she would never do that. She asks the leader of the largest party in Parliament to form a government, Theresa proposes a coalition and the Queen approves.
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  #386  
Old 06-09-2017, 01:38 PM
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Those who understand the constitutional limitations, I'd love a little help getting a better grasp of how strong a role the monarch is allowed.

Now, I don't know enough about the DUP to have one opinion or another about the viability of them working with the Conservatives to make May's plan for a government work. I don't know enough about coalition governing, period, not being from a nation with a parliamentary system. So this question is totally hypothetical, not a statement on the current situation.

Say a PM's plan to work with another party to form the government raises a lot of eyebrows and a general questioning of whether the two groups can really work together as promised. If the PM goes into her meeting with the Queen expressing great confidence that she's sorted things out and can form a government, is the Queen constitutionally required to accept the PM's proposal? Or does she have the freedom to say, "no, I really don't think you've thought this through, you need to spend some more time with it and get it right?"

I ask because the situations I've seen described in the past where the monarch would say "no, try again" all hinged on the PM walking in and admitting that the deal may be shaky. In other words, a case where the monarch's refusal to accept the government was really an amplification of the PM's own concerns, and therefore not exactly the monarch expressing political opinion or "meddling."

But does the Queen have the power to draw a line in the sand if she observes problems with a planned coalition that the PM does not see or does not wish to acknowledge?
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  #387  
Old 06-09-2017, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loonytick View Post

But does the Queen have the power to draw a line in the sand if she observes problems with a planned coalition that the PM does not see or does not wish to acknowledge?
If the Queen has any sort of reservation regarding the coalition and there are alternatives, I'm sure she would express these concerns to the potential PM in private. She would never go public with it, of course.

If the PM believes he/she can form a stable coalition and there are no real alternatives (other parties willing to form a coalition), refusing permission would only lead to scandal and a political deadlock that nobody wants.

So yes, the Queen could "refuse" permission or advise the PM to seek better options but that would happen in private.

Since what goes on in audiences between the Queen and PM is absolutely confidential, we can only guess.
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  #388  
Old 06-09-2017, 02:22 PM
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The Queen's Private Secretary was apparently seen at the Cabinet office before PM visited BP. Likewise during the coalition discussions in the 2010 election the Queen's Private Secretary made regular visits to receive updates on the negotiations, as such I think its safe to say the Queen would never be put in the position of having a PM or potential PM arrive at BP only to say they can not form a stable enough government (those conversations would be done in private).


During the last hung parliament in 2010 it was quite openly said the Queen (Who was at Windsor I think) would not return to BP until it was clear a deal had been done to create a coalition government.

Ahead of the 2010 election the Cabinet Secretary put the unwritten rules about what to do in a hung parliament on paper http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32475098
As the BBC states:
A priority was to protect the Queen from any sticky constitutional predicament in the event of a hung parliament.

and one the main 4 rules is:

Prime ministers hold office unless and until they resign. If the prime minister resigns on behalf of the government, the monarch will invite the person most likely to command the confidence of the Commons to become prime minister and form a government. So, the Queen has no effective power over appointing a new PM
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  #389  
Old 06-09-2017, 04:20 PM
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The way the system actually works varies from one monarchy to another.


In Spain, following a general election, the King, through the Speaker of the House of Representatives, actually has to propose a candidate to be the next prime minister . The proposed nominee is then put to a vote in the House and confirmed if he/she gets the support of a majority (more than half) of the members. If the proposed candidate fails to be confirmed in the first ballot, he/she can be confirmed in a second ballot by a simple plurality as long as the number of members voting against the nomination is not bigger than the number of those voting in favor of it (that's what just happened to Mariano Rajoy following the last Spanish general election BTW). If the two aforementioned ballots fail to confirm the PM , the King might propose another candidate , but, if 90 days from the first investiture vote elapse without a PM being confirmed, then the House of Representatives is dissolved and a new election is called.

Sweden uses a slightly different system where, after the election, if the sitting PM doesn't resign, a vote in parliament to confirm him/her in office is held (at most two weeks after the new parliament is convened). A confirmation only requires however that there is not a majority (more than half) of the MPs voting against it, which is sometimes called "negative parliamentarism" if I recall it correctly. If the PM resigns or is discharged and the office is vacant, the Speaker of the parliament proposes a new candidate to become PM and the nomination is put to a vote where, again, the proposed candidate succeeds if there is not a majority of MPs voting against him/her; note that, when abstentions are taken into account, the Swedish model could in theory deliver a PM that actually had fewer votes among MPs to confirm him/her than to reject him/her (as long as the reject vote doesn't get above 50 % + 1 of the MPs). If after four attempts, all proposed candidates are rejected under the rules above, then parliament is dissolved and a new election is called.

The UK, on the other hand, follows a different model, which has actually changed slightly since 2011. Unlike in Spain or Sweden, there is no compulsory confirmation vote in the House of Commons (HoC) for someone to become or stay as PM. A person holds the office of PM as long as he/she doesn't resign or is removed by the Queen (the latter situation happened the last time during the reign of William IV, so it's not really relevant today).

Basically, in the UK, if it is clear that the PM and his/her party lost the election, then he/she resigns and advises the Queen to send for the leader of the opposition to form a new government. Otherwise, the incumbent government, as the representative of the party with the most seats in the HoC (though not necessarily a majority) usually has a go on trying to form a new government. If the HoC later passes a motion of no confidence in the proposed new government, which requires only a simple majority (i.e. more MPs voting for it than against it), then the House has 14 days to pass a motion of confidence most likely in another alternative government, or otherwise, a snap election is triggered and the House is automatically dissolved (I believe, 25 working days before the date set for the snap election). In any case, the PM never leaves office until a new PM is appointed, which always happens in an audience with the Queen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loonytick View Post
Those who understand the constitutional limitations, I'd love a little help getting a better grasp of how strong a role the monarch is allowed.

Now, I don't know enough about the DUP to have one opinion or another about the viability of them working with the Conservatives to make May's plan for a government work. I don't know enough about coalition governing, period, not being from a nation with a parliamentary system. So this question is totally hypothetical, not a statement on the current situation.

Say a PM's plan to work with another party to form the government raises a lot of eyebrows and a general questioning of whether the two groups can really work together as promised. If the PM goes into her meeting with the Queen expressing great confidence that she's sorted things out and can form a government, is the Queen constitutionally required to accept the PM's proposal? Or does she have the freedom to say, "no, I really don't think you've thought this through, you need to spend some more time with it and get it right?"

I ask because the situations I've seen described in the past where the monarch would say "no, try again" all hinged on the PM walking in and admitting that the deal may be shaky. In other words, a case where the monarch's refusal to accept the government was really an amplification of the PM's own concerns, and therefore not exactly the monarch expressing political opinion or "meddling."

But does the Queen have the power to draw a line in the sand if she observes problems with a planned coalition that the PM does not see or does not wish to acknowledge?
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  #390  
Old 06-09-2017, 11:32 PM
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Thank you everyone for the information.

What I don't understand is why Jeremy Corbyn forming his own coalition is so improbable. It's likely a complicated answer so don't feel a need to explain, but I just think it would make sense for him to try to do that.
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  #391  
Old 06-09-2017, 11:46 PM
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Quite simply, it is very very doubtful that Corbyn could gather the needed numbers together even with the help of the Scottish Nationalists, to form a government. I believe Labour has 242 seats in the Commons, the Scottish Nationalists 35 seats, as a result of this election. It's not enough, given that 326 is the minimum number to have a workable majority, provide a (neutral) Speaker, deputy Speaker etc. If the Conservative\ DUP alliance holds, May will have 328. Extremely tight, but better than Corbyn's position.
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  #392  
Old 06-10-2017, 12:17 AM
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Thank you.
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  #393  
Old 06-10-2017, 12:34 AM
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Theresa May has met with The Queen and it looks like a conservative / DUP government. I think this will work. Britain will have a stable government
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  #394  
Old 06-10-2017, 12:48 AM
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Stable, but not the kind of stable she wanted, correct? This means another election in how many years? Two? Wasn't it her intention to create a situation secure until 2022? Changes a-foot so fast.
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  #395  
Old 06-10-2017, 01:08 AM
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Let's just say, for the sake of this extremely tight majority that Theresa doesn't face a heart attack or two or long bouts of flu among these MPs, infighting among disparate factions and ambitious members of her party causing disruptions, and that she can hang on for maybe a year or two, perhaps. Plus, the DUP will almost certainly be presenting May with an expensive list of concessions and demands in return for their support.

She had a perfectly good majority before of 22 seats, but chose to go to an election and lost this. I don't consider a hastily cobbled together alliance with a minor party (and we don't know whether the DUP are going to support the Conservatives wholeheartedly on everything,) and a whisker thin majority, an exactly stable government. It's the best Theresa can hope for and it's better than Corbyn's position, but we've yet to see how it will work out, especially with the EU negotiations.

We live in interesting times!
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  #396  
Old 06-10-2017, 08:21 PM
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I've looked back over the past dozen or so posts, many from posters who come from non-Parliamentary democracies and the vast majority of them have asked about the Queen's input on a possible hung Parliament and how the political process works, re political advisers, which is natural, surely?
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  #397  
Old 06-11-2017, 03:11 PM
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Bear in mind nobody thought the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition would last more than few months, us British are to use to one party securing a majority it makes us think there is no other way.

Interestingly May has just undertaken a cabinet reshuffle and I forgot that technically the Queen has to approve the cabinet appointments as highlighted in the official releases of each appointment that "The Queen is pleased to approve the appointment of XXX as Secretary of State for XXX"
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  #398  
Old 06-12-2017, 04:04 AM
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Prime Ministers, Political Advisers and the Powers & Prerogatives of the Monarch

The Queen has seen a lot in politics and I personally think she would have been bey surprised by Theresa's announcement when she came to visit.
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  #399  
Old 06-12-2017, 07:27 AM
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The Queen's Speech will now be delayed by a couple of days due to the fact that nothing can go in it.
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  #400  
Old 06-12-2017, 11:42 AM
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[The Queen] doesn't get involved so she'll never say what she thinks. But like the other poster, I sure wish I could know her thoughts on all this. Given all the conversations she's had with so many Prime Ministers over the years, which surely covered exactly the issues that are at play in the UK's relationship with the rest of Europe, she must have an incredible and uniquely informed perspective. As much as I understand why the rules are what they are, and as much as I think they're appropriate...in some moments it sure feels like a loss for her perspective to be kept secret.
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